Rubber mulch introduction to the market changed the way people do their gardening and landscaping. People like rubber mulch only because of its neatness and beauty. You may lack to consider its other environmental impacts.
So is rubber mulch good for the environment?
Yes, rubber mulch is an eco-friendly landscaping material. It’s also safe to use around plants and good for the soil as it allows drainage into the ground. Rubber mulch is not nonbiodegradable, but you can use it in children’s playgrounds since it’s harmless.
I have used rubber mulch in my garden for five years, showing quality results. Here, we’ll discuss how rubber mulch interferes with your surroundings.
Is Rubber Mulch Good for the Environment?
Yes, rubber mulch is good for the environment. It works as an insulator to the soil against heat from the sun and keeps the environment neat.
You need to note that rubber mulch is made from recycled tires and other rubber materials from the environment. So, it aids in reducing the levels of solid wastes in the surroundings.
You may not need to cut a tree or clear vegetation to manufacture the rubber mulch. That is an excellent step in wildlife conservation.
Rubber mulch’s inability to keep water prevents fungal development in plants. It has a long lifespan, so it may save you the cost and the labor of topping it up. Thus, applying rubber mulch to your field may help conserve your environment.
But, after completing its purpose, make sure you take good care of it or recycle it.
Why is Rubber Mulch Used in the Environment?
You can use rubber mulch to control weeds. You can also use it to prevent the ground from extreme temperatures. Weeds find it hard to access light through the rubber.
It’s recommended over the organic wood mulch. That is due to its durability and its role in environmental conservation.
Rubber mulch also maintains the soil moisture by preventing evaporation from the soil. It also allows rainwater to drain to the ground and helps moderate the soil temperature.
Although it’s costly, rubber mulch stands out because of its durability and neatness. It’s also reusable and isn’t labor-intensive.
Is it OK to Use Rubber Mulch Around Plants?
Yes, it is critical to use rubber mulch around the plants. It does not affect plants grown in any way. Yet it prevents nutrient competition from the weeds, making the plants grow faster. The fact that rubber mulch allows water to pass into the plant roots makes it ok to use around plants.
It also prevents fungi and bacteria that may attack the plants. Fungi and bacteria grow on moist and decaying surfaces. Rubber mulch does not hold any water or decompose.
Roots also breathe through the rubber mulch, so all the soil reactions are normal.
However, rubber mulch has no nutrients to offer the plant since it does not decompose. It only covers and regulates the soil composition. You can collect this soil for sampling since it’s not exposed to any external components.
Is Rubber Mulch Good for Children’s Playgrounds?
Rubber mulch is safe for playgrounds with kids of all ages since it’s safe and non-toxic.
Most of the kids’ activities include jumping, running, climbing, and swinging. These activities can lead to massive injuries if the children slip or fall on the hard floor.
With the rubber mulch, you make sure that your kids land on a smooth surface anytime an accident happens. Unlike other playground materials, rubber is soft. It also does not turn into a hard surface or compact after prolonged use.
A rubber playground is also free of weeds and pests and stays cool even in the scorching sun.
It remains intact even during a wind or a storm and can be relied on in hostile environments. The color of a rubber playground can also be designed depending on the color of the rubber mulch, making it beautiful for children.
However, you may keep fires away from the rubber mulch playground since it’s flammable.
Is Rubber Mulch an Environment Pollutant?
Besides organic blocks and minerals, rubber mulch also contains accelerators and plasticizers. These chemicals are included in the tire manufacture process and are environmental polluters.
These chemicals may take longer in the environment before they complete decomposition. A good example is 2-mercaptobenzothiazole, used as an accelerator in standard rubber. That chemical remains persistent in the surroundings and is harmful to aquatic animals.
Rubber softeners like polyaromatic hydrocarbons are released when the rubber is decomposing. Yet, you can solve these environmental problems if rubber mulch is well-kept after use or even recycled.
Rubber may also contain highly flammable elements such as petroleum that are difficult to put off. So, you may do good to avoid mulching areas around a fire source using rubber.
Is Rubber Mulch Good for the Soil?
Rubber mulch is advantageous to the soil. It prevents erosion as it is much heavier and not quickly eroded even during a heavy storm. Besides being heavy, it’s tough enough to control the splashing water from reaching the soil.
Remember, rubber mulch is made from rubber tires collected from the environment, reducing solid soil waste. The soil is therefore aerated and remains neat and pure.
Rubber mulch also avoids soil dehydration through active transpiration, maintaining soil moisture. Moist soil is suitable for agricultural practices.
Rubber mulched soil is weedless and easy to manage. It also lacks fungi and bacteria that may infect the ground and even cause plant diseases. It’s also well-drained, as water from the rain is allowed in without any restriction from the rubber mulch.
The rubber mulch maintains a moderate soil temperature during a hot or cold day. The temperature is suitable for organisms living in the soil.
Does Rubber Mulch Attract Insects and Rodents?
Rubber mulch does not attract any types of insects and rodents.
That feature makes it one of the most coveted types of rubber mulch. Insects and rodents reduce both the quality and the quantity of your garden’s outcome.
The following are reasons why rubber mulch does not encourage insects and rodents.
It is Not Edible to the Insects
Organic mulches such as wood provide food to insects such as termites and moths. If that mulch is put near other wood constructions, the insects may eat them too. That can make your financial and structural problems worse.
Rubber mulch, an inorganic mulch, may starve the insects. It also covers your garden from other structures around it.
No Snails or Fungi can Stay on a Dry Mulch
Snails are beautiful creatures, but not when eating your delicate plants. You may still not be happy when the snails slide everywhere in your environment.
Snails eat fungi and algae that exist in moss-covered areas and wet glass. Yet, rubber mulch does not encourage the presence of fungi and algae, as it does not retain any water. You don’t have to worry about snails agitating your plant leaves and flowers.
It Cannot Be Used as Nesting Material for Insects
Mice, ants, and moths use wood or other organic substances for constructing their nests. The pests may find room for multiplication, causing more damage to your plants.
Yet, rubber mulch provides nothing for these pests to build homes!
What are the Disadvantages of Rubber Mulch to the Environment?
Despite having many advantages, there are a few drawbacks related to rubber mulching.
- It contains chemical residues made in tire manufacturing that may harm plants.
- Rubber mulch is highly flammable and can cause fire risks.
However, it stands out because of its high quality and is durable. You may take good care of the rubber mulch after using it to avoid pollution.
How Do you Dispose of Rubber Mulch?
After you have used your rubber mulch, it may not be easy to dispose of it since it’s inorganic. Yet, the following are suggestions on what to do with your rubber mulch after removing it from the soil.
- Please take it to a trusted rubber recycling center
- Dispose of it at a waste center
- Contact your friends and relatives if they would need your rubber mulch.
Those means may ensure that rubber mulch does not pollute the environment.
Many gardeners use rubber mulch for landscaping because it provides a beautiful view. Despite its high price, rubber mulch still stands out because of its efficiency and durability.
Rubber mulch helps reduce the number of used tires disposed of in the environment. Those tires may look useless, but the idea of making rubber mulch from them provides you with a better environment.
The toxic levels of rubber mulch are low, making it suitable for application even in children’s playgrounds. It’s also ideal for farming as it assists in weed control.
However, you may take good care of your rubber mulch to prevent unnecessary fires and accidents. Remember to rake-off your rubber mulch after using it and take it to your nearest recycling center.